Antwerp's PARK Festival presents: Bosuitstap

Pictures by Jelle Inghels

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Antwerp's PARK Festival has a new side project: Bosuitstap! Literally translated: forest excursion. Why the name? Because it's held at a green setting in the city, exploring new sounds and artists. Actually, the concept highlights upcoming talent and offers them a platform to showcase their talent. We had a chat with Sara Golijanin from the Park Festival organization to clear a couple of things out. 

Could you explain the concept?

"Bosuitstap is the small, paying version of PARK Festival. With PARK (the organization behind both concepts) we like to present a broad, alternative range to the festival season, consisting of a selection of urban disciplines, created by and for Antwerp youngsters. But, in the end, we try to create a platform for up and coming and yet to be discovered artists."

Why the initiative? Do you feel there's a lack of interest in 'the new kids on the block'?

"We get the feeling that the entire 'urban' music scene is starting to divide into separate cliques. We notice that most professional festivals/open airs tend to book commercial and more well known acts, instead of taking any risks. Yet there is so much more, and we'd like to fill that void."

Where will these new faces showcase their talents?

"Bosuitstap will be located at Noordkasteel in the East of Antwerp. During the day it will take place outside and by night we'll move into the well-known Magic Spiegeltent. We'll keep the day vibrant by offering different kinds of activities. For example: we are organizing a silent disco and a soul-food BBQ. Besides all that, we've asked some local artists to expose their artwork during Bosuitstap."

In the past, you've invited quite some names that really stand out today, like Roméo Elvis, for example. What does  fresh talent need to become a blimp on your radar?

"I guess we can be pretty proud of the names we've been able to book over the past years. Our first edition had 'Grey' - now commonly known as TheColorGrey. Also Hannah Faith, who was present at our first edition, has had one of her biggest gigs at Park Festival. During the second edition we had Roméo Elvis perform, and we immediately knew he was going to conquer Belgium in no time. When we're scouting for artists, we're especially looking for authenticity, creativity and originality. We don't want to hear a specified, recognizable sound. We are actually looking for that different angle, that bit of excentricity."

What city is about to boom in your eyes? If you look at what's bubbling underneath the surface, of course.

"The last couple of months I've been keeping track of the scene in Brussels. Amongst other things, the gentlemen of Cup of Tea keep surprising weekly by sending me their brand new tracks. I'm planning on zooming in on the guys of Perron Zes as well. They get their inspiration from different styles and backgrounds, and you can clearly hear that right away. But Antwerp's also bursting of talent. For instance, I'm personally convinced Darrell Cole is about to conquer the hip hop scene. Also, there are plenty of hungry producers such as Roshima, rare akuma, ..."

Any tips on what folks MUST see today?

"The Dutch piano miracle Niels Broos is definitely a must see. He recently released his first EP and co-created a track on Jameszoo's Brainfeeder debut. Tusais x Mitxelena are two Antwerp youngsters that are working together on a project called 'Dobber'. Tusais makes the beats and Mitxelena works the mic. Tusais deserves some extra credit since he recently released a track on Astrophonica. His tracks are being played by Ivy Lab and Tim Parker (NTS) for some time now. Definitely also 2 times nothing! These guys have already had their shot at Park Festival two years ago. For a while it got quiet around them. But you have to keep in mind these kids aren't even 20 yet!"

Head over to this Facebook page for more info on this funky initiative!